Expression of Interest

Contact Person/Scientist in Charge

  • Name and surname: Claudio Palomo
  • Email:

Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

Department / Institute / Centre

  • Name: Faculty of Chemistry, Department of Organic Chemistry I, Group of Asymmetric Catalysis and Chemical Synthesis - Unversity of the Basque Country
  • Address: Paseo Manuel Lardizabal 3, 20018, Donostia-San Sebastián (Spain)
  • Province: Guipúzcoa

Research Area

  • Chemistry (CHE)

Brief description of the institution:

The UPV/EHU ( is a teaching and research institution officially founded in 1985. It is the leading research institution in the Basque country, placing it among the world’s 500 top universities, according to Shanghai Ranking. The university employs over 7.000 people throughout 20 centers distributed in its three campuses with over 45,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The UPV/EHU gathers 290 research groups with a scientific output of over 35 articles per week in journals in the first quartile and 45% of the publications in competitive journals (WoS and Scopus) are the result of international collaboration.
Since the first Research Framework Programmes, the UPV/EHU has been very active and has participated in over 40 projects from the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). With regard to the FP7, the UPV/EHU has participated in 103 projects and has been the beneficiary of seven ERC Grants and 34 Marie Curie projects.
Up to April 2018, the UPV/EHU is the beneficiary of twenty two MSC-IF (6 GF and 16 EF) and eighteen collaborative MSC actions (9 ITN and 9 RISE), seven of them coordinated by the UPV/EHU. Overall, 75 projects were granted in H2020, including five ERC Grants.

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group (including URL if applicable):

Our group is interested in the discovery and development of novel catalytic systems, particularly organocatalysts, and their implementation in asymmetric carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bond-forming reactions. These elemental processes are crucial for the efficient and stereocontrolled synthesis of biologically relevant molecules and building-blocks.

The group is formed by 6 permanent university professors and scientists, and hosts about a dozen graduate students and postdoctoral. Our laboratories are equipped with state of the art instruments and facilities, including common analytical tools for synthesis (high field NMR, HPLC, etc.) at hand. Further techniques (X-Ray, Elemental analysis, HRMS, etc.) are also available straightforward. The university library offers access to main scientific publications and data bases.

Members of the Group participate at several levels in research and teaching networks, inter alia, an inter-university Masters degree program, an inter-department doctoral program, specific collaboration at doctoral degree with University of Bordeaux, France, and permanent collaboration with Universidad Pública de Navarra at Pamplona. The Group responsible (Prof. Palomo) is the coordinator of the Spanish Asymmetric Catalysis Network.

The Group main laboratory and other facilities are located in the Faculty of Chemistry and the nearby buildings in the Donostia-San Sebastián university campus, which is a well integrated area of the city. San Sebastián offers a wide variety of cultural events along the year and has a vibrant atmosphere.

Project description:

The design of catalytic systems capable of approaching the Nature’s efficiency in controlling both reactivity and stereoselectivity of organic reactions remains a formidable challenge. Despite impressive advances, current methodologies rarely meet the standards of catalyst robustness, substrate scope and selectivity altogether. On the other hand, minute structural and/or functional alterations near the reactive site in the substrate molecule often impact severely both reactivity and stereoselectivity of the catalyst-mediated transformation. The research is aimed at designing both new templates and catalysts that would solve existing limitations in the area.

Selected recent contributions from our group are:

Controlling α- vs γ-Reactivity of Vinylogous Ketone Enolates in Organocatalytic Enantioselective Michael Reactions. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 8860.

Bifunctional Brønsted Base Catalyst Enables Regio-, Diastereo-, and Enantioselective Cα-Alkylation of β-Tetralones and Related Aromatic-Ring-Fused Cycloalkanones. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 2059.

Base-Catalyzed Asymmetric α-Functionalization of 2-(Cyanomethyl) azaarene N-Oxides Leading to Quaternary Stereocenters. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 3282.

Bifunctional Brønsted Base Catalyzes Direct Asymmetric Aldol Reaction of a-Keto Amides. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 3364.

Catalytic Enantioselective Synthesis of N,Ca,Ca-Trisubstituted α-Amino Acid Derivatives Using 1H-Imidazol 4(5H)-ones as Key Templates. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.2015, 54, 6883.

For more information, visit


- Curriculum Vitae

- Letter of motivation

- Letter(s) of recommendation, if any

 Deadline for submissions: July 31st, 2018

I want to contact the Institution

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